Friday, March 9, 2012


On a hot sunny day, the sky suddenly turns dark, very dark, as if storm clouds were approaching. What would you conclude? It’s going to rain. Often, we are disappointed when the rain doesn’t come. I have a friend who when he goes to his shop in the morning and finds water at the front of his shop goes instantly for a copy of his bible, because bad people are after his business all over again. “They have started doing incantations against my life,” he would argue. Fortunately for him, he still makes money at his business.

Often and on, when two things happen together, people believe and wrongly too, that the one causes the other.

Take love and marriage for example. When I was young and innocent, and stupid, I used to think that if two people love themselves, then the next step would be the altar. Does love cause marriages? Only the innocent would agree heartily to that. So many other factors cause marriages: money, self-interest, public acclaim or what we call fame, traditional family relationship and so on and so forth.

When one hangs his booths with the correlation is causation camp, he tends to believe in all sorts of superstition and is weighed down with fear, guilt and nervousness. A friend from Agbor told me that children should not be allowed to eat eggs when they are young because it teaches them to be thieves. Why? “Time and again, our elders have found that children, especially those from well to do homes, who are brought up on eggs, tend to take to stealing. It doesn’t happen once, not twice, but many times,” he retorted.

I did not have any data right then to throw his claims away, but I thought he was trying to say my parents should stop me from having eggs when we take tea and bread for breakfast? And then, I was still young. Just in JSS2. There was no way I could unstick him from his belief.

Because I had a bad dream this night and lost my work the next morning, it does not mean the witches who are after my life have begun gaining the upper hand? Nope. I always remember this advice: do not dwell on the bad events of your life, think of what you can make out of your bad experiences.

On the other hand, when two things go together, one can cause the other. Love sometimes causes marriage. Or when you have a good product with the right price, you are surely going to sell more than your competitors.

The caveat is: looking for correlation in everything and sticking to a fictitious, superstitious belief that when we find a correlation, then we have a key, a formula, for some problem that is looking for a solution.

Life is not as simple as that.

Like I used to remind myself: even the devil doesn’t put all his eggs in one basket.

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